Category Archives: focus

Why before and after photos can be harmful

Health and Fitness has much more to offer than a side by side photo. Many of the benefits of movement are internal:
•Improves circulation

•Increased strength & endurance

•Enhances tissue oxygenation

•Stimulates lymphatic drainage

•Reduces stress and tension

•Increases bone density

•Enhances mental clarity and memory

•Balance key brain neurotransmitters


❌None of that is fully depicted in a before and after photo.
When looking at a side-by-side of two different bodies, it’s implied that one body type is better than the other. And even if the caption says “it’s not about weight”, it’s easy to subconsciously assume that it still is-especially online, we’re captions are often skimmed or not read in full.


Essentially, we cannot work towards fixing our society‘s obsession with weight while also posting something that is so weight-focused.


What’s problematic behind these images: it suggests an endpoint, where the AFTER is the life and body of their dreams and everything is perfect. That’s not how it works.🚫
There are NO before & after’s. It’s all just during! It’s time to focus on the journey, 🗺 not a false destination! 📍


💡 Other ways to celebrate your transformation:
•Reflecting on your improved mood, energy and confidence

•Sharing a regular video/photo of yourself

•Going out with friends

•Wearing an outfit you feel confident in

•Trying a new fitness class
Whatever journey you may be on, there are many ways to celebrate your newfound appreciation for your body!
******************************************************

✌🏼Link https://forms.gle/cFJakvt746dkDUvMA to apply for my 8 week foundation coaching program, where we create optimal health and wellness through individualized fitness programming, mindset coaching and balanced nutrition! 💟

Why the 75 HARD challenge won’t help you with your goals & can damage your health instead….

The 75 hard challenge is one of the worst things I’ve seen roll out as a health and wellness professional. Please swipe & read how each point is unreasonable and unnecessary.

The founder of 75 Hard challenge Frisella, who is not a certified trainer, dietitian, or licensed clinical therapist, writes that it is “NOT A REGULAR FITNESS PROGRAM.” Rather, it’s a “MENTAL TOUGHNESS PROGRAM” that he is qualified to teach based on his “20 years of intensive study and real-life experience.” 

I repeat: He does not have the education nor does he reference any health, fitness, or therapy courses.

-Diets that severely restrict food often result in the creation of a negative relationship between individuals and how they nourish themselves. What’s worse: Extremely restrictive eating means you may never actually learn healthy eating habits or honor your body’s desires.

-Then there are the fitness rules that don’t take into account your underlying health conditions, previous injuries, or current fitness levels. Exercising for 90 minutes a day, with 45 minutes spent outside regardless of the temp, is not safe for everyone. Even worse, the workout plan is so nonspecific that you’re at great risk for injury.

Being extremely regimented can damage your mental health, because when faced with the inability to stick with such extreme protocols for 75 days, this can lead to feelings of self-deprecation and an inability to appreciate other measures of progress toward better emotional health. 

LASTLY: He’s trying to sell you something, The goal of the 75 Hard Challenge isn’t to improve your mental toughness, it’s to motivate you to unconsciously spread his name, his brand, and his supplement company to your friends. 


TL;DR: He’s using people who do his challenge as free advertising, fam. 

What to do instead of 75 hard? Master the basics! & apply for coaching 1:1 coaching today! 

Reframing negative thoughts…

Many of us struggle with negative self-talk.⁠

We put ourselves down, criticize ourselves, and beat ourselves up… and some of us do it so much we don’t even realize we’re doing it!⁠

Negative self-talk can become a habit, and it’s an important habit to break because the thoughts and words we say and think shape our reality. 🙅🏾‍♀️🙅🏻‍♀️🙅🏿‍♀️🙅🏽‍♀️🙅🏼‍♀️ ⁠
Thankfully, studies have shown that using neutral or positive affirmations can help us rewire our brains and change our outlook! 🧠⁠

❓How❓⁠

By disrupting these negative thought patterns and reframing them into statements that serve you better. Basically, by being deliberate with your self-talk!⁠

Notice that these statements don’t have to be rah-rah positive if that doesn’t feel genuine to you. Neutral statements totally work in disrupting negative thought patterns. ⁠

(And once you’ve moved yourself securely into neutral statements, you can work on practicing turning neutral into positive.)⁠

Even if you have difficulty fully believing these affirmations right off the bat, the more you practice, the more you’ll be able to stop negative thoughts before they begin! ⁠

Let’s work together 🤗
Link in bio for coaching ✌🏼💜
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#reframeyourthoughts
#cbttherapy#onlinenutritioncoach#nutriton#nutritionist#dietculturedropout#mindsetmatters#flipit#selfdevelopment#selfcompassion#awareness#awarenessiskey#explorepage
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Words of advice that may help improve your body image….

Negative body image (or body dissatisfaction) involves feelings of shame, anxiety, and self-consciousness. People who experience high levels of body dissatisfaction feel their bodies are flawed in comparison to others, and these folks are more likely to suffer from feelings of depression, isolation, low self-esteem, and eating disorders.

•85% of women and 79% of girls skip important activities due to body dissatisfaction.

•Those who frequently look at “fitspiration” on Instagram are less likely to be satisfied with their bodies and more likely to want to be thinner.

•70% of girls with a poor view of their bodies won’t be as vocal about opinions

•54% of women say they’re their own worst critics While we all may have our days where we feel awkward or uncomfortable in our bodies, the key to developing a more positive body image is to recognize and respect our natural shape and learn to overpower those negative thoughts and feelings with positive, affirming, and accepting ones.

Accept yourself. 💕

Accept your body. 💕

🤍

SOURCES:2021 Body Image Facts, Figures, and Statistics | Beauty Schools Directory[26] Fardouly, J., Willburger, B. K., & Vartanian, L. R. (2017). Instagram use and young women’s body image concerns and self-objectification: Testing mediational pathways. New Media & Society, 20(4), 1380-1395. doi:10.1177/14614448176944992021 Body Image Statistics: 40 Shocking Body Image Facts (breakbingeeating.com)#bodyimage#eatingdisorderawareness#onlinepersonaltrainer#fitness

Positive Body Image

☝🏽This is THE definition of positive body image. If you haven’t read More than a Body 📖, you need to. 🤍

Let’s dig into this idea:

✖️“We are all at a severe disadvantage when our body image is so deeply tied to how we look (or how we think we look). Too many of us not only feel awful about our looks, since we can never achieve or maintain the aspirational beauty ideals presented to us, but also feel awful about our dynamic, adaptive bodies overall because all we care about is how they look. This is truly the root of negative body image.

✖️So how do we fix this? The most popular strategy for promoting positive body image relies on messaging such as “All bodies are beautiful” or “Our flaws make us beautiful.” Those ideas might provide a temporary mood boost and are catchy marketing slogans, but ultimately they don’t get to the root of the problem. Regardless of how the definition of beauty expands, it’s still being reinforced as the most important thing about us. A more effective approach to healing our body image issues needs to reflect the understanding that focusing on the appearance of our bodies is the *problem.*

✖️Each of us has grown up in and experienced every second of life inside our own incredible bodies, and yet we judge and define how we feel about our bodies by how we think they look to others? That thought would be laughable if it weren’t so cryable. When we can understand and relate directly to our bodies by experiencing our physical selves from the inside, we can see more in our bodies and ourselves. No more trying to squeeze ourselves into the narrow molds of our cultural beauty ideals, and no more trying to stretch our cultural beauty ideals to fit all of us. No more struggling to convince ourselves we are all beautiful since beauty is the greatest source of value and confidence we can imagine. Let’s imagine something better than beautiful for ourselves and everyone we love.”

Repost from @beauty_redefined

🚨 The hardcover book is on SALE for $11/each + free shipping when you order 3+ on Amazon! (Also at Target, but they sold out). And it’s on audiobook & Kindle – all linked in bio. #morethanabody

Why you shouldn’t skip rest days…

PSA: Skipping rest days doesn’t make you a badass. 🙅🏻‍♀️

It does get you more tired, stressed, inflamed and farther from your goals though. #hardtruth

💤 What to do on rest days:
Hydrate 💦
Focus on your nutrition 🍴 (adequate carbs & protein)
Light movements like walking and stretching 🧘‍♀️

What NOT to do:
Drastically Reducing your calories or carb intake- I see this strategy often, which is based on the assumption you don’t need as much ⛽️ because of less activity. From my perspective, this can create unnecessary stress, potential disordered eating behaviors and it’s best to consume your usual amount of calories on rest days to ensure muscle growth and recovery.

Benefits 👇🏻

1. Allows time for recovery
•Contrary to popular belief, a rest day isn’t about being lazy on the couch. It’s during this time that the beneficial effects of exercise take place. Specifically, rest is essential for muscle growth.

2. Prevents muscle fatigue
•Remember, exercise depletes your muscles’ glycogen levels. If these stores aren’t replaced, you’ll experience muscle fatigue and soreness.
Plus, your muscles need glycogen to function, even when you’re not working out. By getting adequate rest, you’ll prevent fatigue by letting your glycogen stores refill.

3. Reduces risk of injury
•Overtraining also exposes your muscles to repetitive stress and strain. This increases the risk of overuse injuries, forcing you to take more rest days than planned.

4. Improves performance
•Rest has the opposite effect. It increases energy and prevents fatigue, which prepares your body for consistently successful workouts.

5. Supports healthy sleep
•While regular exercise can improve your sleep, taking rest days is also helpful. Rest can help you get better sleep by letting your hormones return to a normal, balanced state.

💞✌🏼Link in bio for coaching

#onlinepersonaltrainer#personaltrainer#onlinenutritioncoach#nutritioncoach#restdays#restday#restdaybenefits#dontskiprestday#disorderedeating#dietculturedropout#fitnesscoach#fitnesscoaching#education#newyorkfitness#hudsonvalleyny#explorepage#nourishyourbody#nourish#carbs#eatyourcarbs

Why you should ditch heavily scented products & perfume:

While many folks in the health space have likely gotten rid of most heavily scented products, what about our clients? ⠀⁠⠀⁠⁠⠀⁠⠀

According to the NPD group, nearly 80% of consumers scent their homes. Their reasons? Consumers want to feel “relaxed”, “cozy”, and to “uplift their spirits”. ⁠⠀⁠⠀

A study conducted by Statista showed that 15% of men never use fragrances (perfume & eau de toilette), compared to 8% of women. The inverse of these stats is that likely 85% of men DO use fragrances of some kind, and 92% of women DO use fragrances of some kind.⁠⠀⁠⠀⁠⠀

But at what cost?⁠⠀⁠⠀⁠⠀

Many products list “fragrance” on the label, but only a tiny fraction of companies actually disclose the specific constituents making up that fragrance. ⁠⠀⁠⠀

These ingredients are considered proprietary and therefore are not required to be disclosed. This lack of transparency does not help consumers make informed choices.⁠ (California recently passed a new law requiring disclosure of these compounds, starting in Jan 2022.

This will likely spell change for the entire industry, and is good news!)⁠⠀⁠⠀

Even without completely transparent ingredient lists, there’s plenty of evidence linking fragrance to a myriad of serious health conditions like cancer, reproductive and developmental toxicity, allergies, and sensitivities. ⁠⠀⁠⠀⁠⠀

The best and easiest way to avoid these exposures is simple: stop buying and using scented products!⁠⠀⁠⠀⁠⠀

This is an avoidance intervention that’s available to ALL people regardless of resources. In fact, not buying these home fragrances and perfumes/colognes SAVES money. ⁠⠀⁠⠀

Scented home products can be hard for some folks to let go of – there’s a strong emotional attachment that keeps people addicted. But understanding and articulating these bigger risks can help! ⁠⠀⁠⠀⁠⁠⠀⁠⠀

Are you working on ditching scented products? Drop a YES in the comments if you are!

REPOSTED from Envirnomentaltoxinssnerd

Discipline without self compassion turns to guilt…

Let’s dive deeper…..

While having discipline is an important aspect of behavior change, YES. But being too rigid, too strict, leaves you with little room for making mistakes, which are inventible. When you do slip up without having any self-compassion, you’ll feel guilt and shame. This down spiral will likely lead to you stopping all together.

Having self compassion can lead to great mindfulness, optimism, higher self-efficacy, and more enjoyment through the process. Too much self compassion, you’ll let yourself slide all the time, and eventually stop.

Too much of either of these, ends up in very little action.

True success is found in the middle!

How Clean Eating can be Damaging to Your Mindset and Health

One of the most common phrases I hear clients use when explaining their day-to-day food intake is “I eat clean.”

This phrase brings up may feelings for me. So, be prepared for a lengthy post.

The first is confusion, because what does it even mean to eat clean? and What foods are dirty? Also, the meaning varies from person to person. The second feeling is dismissal, because “clean” eating is a flawed trend of diet culture. I believe that as health and wellness professionals our nutritional guidance should be inclusive, keeping in mind cultural background, socioeconomic status, and psychological impacts of our recommendations and programming. Here, I will unpack the key flaws that I have encountered with the “clean” eating trend.

Socioeconomic Status

A recent study by Nutrition Today identified factors associated with low fruit and vegetable intake among low income families and individuals. The most common barriers were: lack of knowledge about healthy foods, lack of availability and access to fruits and vegetables, poor produce quality, and budget constraints. Health and fitness professionals likely mean well when recommending “clean” eating in their individual nutrition protocols or incorporating “clean” eating challenges into their group training programs. The barriers listed above, which are closely correlated with socioeconomic status and geographic location, may make “clean” eating an unrealistic or unachievable goal for the client.

“Cost of fruits and vegetables and income level are particularly influential on fruit and vegetable purchases, even more so than educational level, emphasizing the importance of budget when making fruit and vegetable purchases.”

Key Take Away: BUDGET MATTERS when making fruit and Veggie purchases.

With this new found understanding, I have completely changed how I communicate produce recommendations with my clients and in my social media content. I now understand that only a small fraction of the population can afford or even access organic foods. This is an example of socioeconomic privilege, so keep these barriers in mind when creating your programs or social media content.

I personally do care deeply about organic gardening and farming practices, and choose to buy organic when it is available, but I curate my nutrition recommendations through the lens of my clients.

White-Washing of Nutrition

Cultural foods should be considered when planning a nutrition protocol. “Clean” or “Healthy” Eating trends often demonize culturally significant foods by labelling them as “unhealthy.” An example I saw recently on in Instagram post instructed readers to “Eat less rice.” Further down the caption it classified Mexican food as “a cheat meal.” Nutrition advice should never criticize a client’s identity or culture. As coaches, we should be helping our clients understand nutrition while also making room to embrace their heritage. A sound nutrition program can be applied to family meal time, and should be all-inclusive. The meals will be good for the whole family*, and will result in a higher adherence rate by the client. (*Any specific and medically indicated meal plans that may not be suitable for the entire family should be started after consultation with an appropriate medical provider.)
⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⁠⠀
All foods can fit a meal plan, and all cultures must fit; not as “cheat meals,”⁠ but as weekly staples that provide nourishment and connection.
⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⁠⠀

Orthorexia: Obsession with Eating Foods Considered “Healthy”

Eating nutritious food is good, but if you have orthorexia, you obsess about it to a degree that can damage your overall well-being. Orthorexia is not an official diagnosis, but the basic idea is that it includes eating habits that reject a variety of foods for not being “pure” enough. Eventually, people with orthorexia begin to avoid whole meals that don’t meet their standards or that they don’t make themselves.

Signs You may Have Orthorexia

  • Worry about food quality. High levels of concern about the quality and source of foods you eat could lead to anxiety.
  • Avoid going out to eat, or avoid eating food prepared by others out of fear that foods you don’t prepare yourself won’t meet your standards.
  • Fear sickness — worry about how “clean” food is, or if it’s “bad” for your health.
  • Show physical signs of malnutrition. When you limit the variety of foods you eat, you may not get all the nourishment you need. You could lose weight as a result.
  • Bury yourself in food research. It’s one thing to spend a few minutes scanning a product label or surfing the web for more information on ingredients. But with orthorexia, you may spend hours thinking about food and planning meals.
  • Refuse to eat a broad range of foods. It’s normal to pass on some foods because you don’t like the way they taste or the way they make you feel. But with orthorexia, you might decide to drop whole categories of foods from your diet — grains, for example; or any foods with preservatives, gluten, or sugar; or all foods that just don’t seem “healthy”; or all of the above.
  • Fear losing control. You feel that you’re doing the right thing by eating healthy. But you may also be afraid that eating even one meal you didn’t prepare — including dinner at a restaurant — can be disastrous.
  • Be overly critical of your friends’ food choices. At the same time, you may have no rational explanation for your own.
  • Find yourself in a vicious circle. Your preoccupation with food causes you to bounce between self-love and guilt as you change and restrict your diet.

How Clean Eating is Damaging to Female Physiology

“Clean Eating” can mean different things to different people, but here are some of the most common “Clean” eating behaviors I see among women:⠀⠀⠀⠀

1. Avoiding red meat and eating mostly chicken.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2. Subscribing to a low-carb or plant-based diet.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3. Prioritizing raw veggies and salads.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
4. Snacking on nuts in excess.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
5. Eliminating dairy, gluten, or sugar.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Before you feel attacked, I have done ALL of these things. My goal is not to hurt feelings, but to convey the fallacy of “clean” eating-it is just another scam perpetuated by diet culture, and WILL wreak havoc on your hormones. Here’s why:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
👉Poultry does not contain the same density and multitude of nutrients found in red meat (i.e., B vitamins, iron, and zinc). Moreover, eating the same food on repeat can cause food sensitivity. Variety is always better!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
👉 Excessive raw vegetables in the diet can negatively impact thyroid function, causing suboptimal metabolism and slowed digestion.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
👉 Thyroid hormone conversion requires glucose, and low-carb diets take away the body’s preferred source of energy.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
👉 A plant-based diet lacks bioavailable vitamins, minerals, and protein; all are required to support healthy hormones. Sorry, don’t hate the messenger!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
👉 Nuts and seeds are difficult to digest and can irritate the gut. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) in general are anti-metabolic and can contribute to inflammation when eaten in excess.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
👉 Eliminating whole food groups = less nutrient variety and less food options that can result in food sensitivities! It can also lead to issues with food restriction behaviors that are stressful on the body. (Extra stress is never good!)

I believe using the phrase “clean eating” is a damaging part of diet culture influence and as health and wellness professionals, we can and should be providing sustainable nutrition protocols that are curated to the needs of each client and are culturally inclusive, and rooted in evidence-based science.

SOURCES:

Huang, Yancui MS; Edirisinghe, Indika PhD; Burton-Freeman, Britt M. PhD, MS Low-Income Shoppers and Fruit and Vegetables, Nutrition Today: 9/10 2016 – Volume 51 – Issue 5 – p 242-250
doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000176

Low-Income Shoppers and Fruit and Vegetables: What Do They T… : Nutrition Today (lww.com)

Orthorexia Nervosa: Signs & Treatment (webmd.com)

How clean eating is hurting your hormones-Women’s Health Dietitian Nutritionist Amanda Montalvo, RD, FDN-P

Intuitive Eating or Intentional Nourishment?

Intentional nourishment is one of the most fundamental aspects of my practice.

🙌🏼While listening to our bodies is HUGE, and listening to our feelings is an important part of mental health and healing.

⚠️What if your hunger and fullness cues are off? Most of my clients (and myself) do not always wake up hungry, or have sufficient appetites due to chronic stress & metabolic downregulation, therefore focusing on the MECHANICAL EATING side of things is important.

If you are sick? You still need to eat.
If you are stressed AF? You definitely need to eat.
Just not feeling hungry? You still need to nourish your cells.

⚠️What if we have never been taught to listen and trust our intuition? What if we have never listened or honored our biofeedback before?
What happens in times of weakness or doubt?
What prevents you from reaching out to a quick-fix diet or your old ways again?

⚠️ALL OF THESE questions are why I am not the biggest fan of intuitive eating, yet I believe the book and the principles are ground-breaking for yo-yo dieters and important to understand FOR SURE. 💯

💜Nourishing with intention takes intuitive eating much deeper, it is a fusion of body, brain and feelings. It’s creating and maintaining a balance amongst knowledge, hunger cues, feelings and cravings.

💜Practicing nourishing with intention until you find your balance and can trust your body again.

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